Salazar for Senate, Salazar for House
This is a critical election for both the nation and the state of Colorado. Fortunately, Western Slope residents have clear choices in the races for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Both races – Ken Salazar vs. Pete Coors in the Senate, and Greg Walcher vs. John Salazar in the House – feature candidates with vast differences in life experience and political philosophy.The Senate race pits Democrat Salazar, the state’s attorney general, against Republican Coors, a businessman and Coors brewing family heir. When it comes to the long-term issues facing the Roaring Fork Valley and the Western Slope, Salazar clearly has a firmer grasp of the details. For instance, while Coors speaks about water and the environment in platitudes, Salazar eagerly discusses specifics. He told The Aspen Times, “I’m absolutely committed to the principle that, if we’re going to have a trans-basin diversion, we need to protect the basin of origin.” If elected, Salazar would be a powerful ally for Western Slope communities battling Front Range communities and their water-diversion proposals.Salazar and Coors both endorse the concept of “multiple use” on public lands, but Salazar calls for a pragmatic, centrist approach that balances natural-resource development with preservation of wild and scenic lands. He’s also committed to development of renewable energy sources – solar, wind and biofuels – and fuel efficiency standards for automobiles.Coors has shown little originality when discussing Colorado’s future. He’s a party-line Republican who says he wants to cut taxes while increasing military spending. He also bemoans government intervention in private enterprise while endorsing federal meddling in personal affairs like marriage and abortion.Vote Salazar for U.S. Senate.In the race for Scott McInnis’ seat in the House of Representatives, representing vast areas of western and southern Colorado, citizens again have a choice between two candidates with well-documented public records. Democrat John Salazar is a San Luis Valley farmer and state representative; Greg Walcher has been a lobbyist and head of the state Department of Natural Resources. This race could be decided on water issues alone. Where Salazar led the fight against Referendum A, a failed initiative that would have given Gov. Bill Owens authority to develop some $2 billion in water projects (including, many feared, diversions of more Western Slope water to the Front Range), Walcher actively promoted the initiative as an Owens’ appointee.While leading that department, Walcher also muzzled Division of Wildlife biologists from speaking publicly on development proposals, a clear example of how Walcher would balance economics and the environment as a congressman. If Walcher’s record is any guide, he would continue the Bush administration’s efforts to pepper the Western Slope with drilling rigs regardless of their environmental impact. John Salazar is a conservative Democrat who seems oriented less to party politics than to Western Colorado. On the other hand, here’s what Salazar had to say about drilling in nearby Garfield County: “The BLM plan for the Roan Plateau goes against what nearly every local official on both sides of the aisle has asked for. Government agencies must be more responsive to local concerns.”Vote John Salazar for U.S. Congress.
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